While the mystery surrounding the fat man in a red, velvet suit fades as you age, another occasion soon takes over and is shrouded in a similar cloud of mystery as to when you’re 8 years old and you contemplate that bearded porker sliding down the chimney and leaving fire trucks as trade for milk and cookies. As 4/20 approaches – politely known as a toker’s gift to his lungs – inevitably there are certain misconceptions that surround that day of inebriation and Cheeto-laced digits. Is it really a police code? Does my mother know that I used to skip school and smoke dirt weed out of a bong fashioned from a Boy Scout canteen? SHIT…THE PARANOIA FROM THE WEED IS ALREADY SETTING IN! Furthermore, is it still necessary to champion a day on nonconformist attitudes when marijuana is thought to be as detrimental and rebellious in nature as making a Harlem Shake video? Here are 20 things you didn’t know about 4/20:

The term “4/20” was first coined in 1971.

The term is credited to a group of teenagers from San Rafael, California who called themselves “The Waldos.”

The Waldos would convene under a statue of Louis Pasteur who also completed his first pasteurization test with Claude Bernard on April 20, 1862.

The original term was “4:20-Louis.”


The spread of 4/20 can be heavily attributed to the Grateful Dead and their followers.

Initial theories surrounding 4/20’s origins settled on Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” in which – under marijuana’s influence – Dylan convinced members of the band to switch instruments (and 12 x 35=420).

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young recorded “4+20” a year before 4/20 was coined.

There was no 4/20 police code in California at that time.

The actual penal code in California referencing 420 deals with obstructing entry on public land.

In 2003, when the California Legislature codified the medical marijuana law that voters had approved, the bill was named SB 420.

There are 315 chemical components in marijuana, not 420.

As the date is written in Europe, 4/20 doesn’t exist.

Billie Holiday recorded “Strange Fruit” on April 20, 1939.

There’s a recipe from The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook called “420 Farmers’ Market Risotto” which guarantees to “stone 4.”

Some of the clocks in Pulp Fiction are set to the time 4:20.

In 2010 High Times named Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. as some of the worst pot-friendly cities in America for 4/20.

A Price Is Right contestant bid either $420 USD or $1,420 USD on everything.

Lebowski Fest takes place in New York City on 4/20 at the Gramercy Theatre.

Fifty-thousand people are expected to light up at Denver’s Civic Center Park on 4/20 despite the state’s stance on public use.

Daniel 4:20 in the Bible states “O king, are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.”

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